Biden campaign launches ‘Out for Biden-Harris’ to mobilize LGBTQ voters

Vice President Kamala Harris, left, shakes hands with President Joe Biden, right, after introducing him at a campaign event in Raleigh, N.C., Tuesday, March 26, 2024.
Vice President Kamala Harris, left, shakes hands with President Joe Biden, right, after introducing him at a campaign event in Raleigh, N.C., Tuesday, March 26, 2024.
AP Photo/Stephanie Scarbrough

The Biden-Harris campaign on April 10 announced a new effort to mobilize LGBTQ voters ahead of the 2024 election — especially in key battleground states — as President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris look to shore up support after capturing an overwhelming majority of the queer vote in 2020.

The new initiative, called “Out for Biden,” will feature get-out-the-vote campaigns, virtual calls, and events featuring out celebrities, national leaders, and others who will work to drive support for the president in the LGBTQ community.

Describing LGBTQ voters as “a force to be reckoned with,” campaign manager Julie Chávez Rodriguez acknowledged the role of queer voters in Biden’s 2020 victory and called on the community to back the president’s re-election bid. 

“That’s why we’re thrilled to launch ‘Out for Biden-Harris,’ which will harness the LGBTQ community’s organizing prowess to reelect President Biden and Vice President Harris this November,” Chávez Rodriguez said in a written statement.

The Biden-Harris team said they hope to re-engage the 11,000 LGBTQ volunteers they had in 2020 to help spread the word about the campaign. They are vowing to train supporters in every part of the LGBTQ community, from faith leaders to drag artists, to draw new supporters into the campaign. Expectedly, the campaign’s rollout of “Out for Biden-Harris” reminds voters of the president’s work on LGBTQ issues, including the passage and signing of the Respect for Marriage Act.

The campaign is notably emphasizing the importance of utilizing messengers in the community, including actor Wilson Cruz, drag artist Brita Filter, Human Rights Campaign president Kelley Robinson, and lawmakers like Virginia State Senator Danica Roem and California Congressmember Robert Garcia.

Harris posted a video on social media to introduce the initiative and call for the community’s support. The video featured references and years-old clips invoking Harvey Milk, Bayard Rustin, and other queer historic figures, as well as current members of the administration like Pete Buttigieg, the transportation secretary, and Rachel Levine, the assistant secretary for health in the Department of Health and Human Services.

“We are so excited to launch ‘Out for Biden-Harris,'” Harris said in the video. “As the great Harvey Milk once said, rights are won only by those who make their voices heard. And because you made your voices heard, marriages are more secure, and Joe Biden is our president — a president who elevated LGBTQI+ leaders to every level of our administration, who fights for the safety and freedom and dignity of all people every single day.”

Polls show a tight race between Biden and former President Donald Trump with seven months remaining until the general election. On average, Trump has often had a slight edge in polling, but the race has tightened even more in recent weeks. 

A poll that was conducted in January and released by GLAAD last month found that 68% of LGBTQ registered voters were likely to vote for Biden this year, while just 15% backed Trump. 

For his part, Trump spent his presidency fighting against LGBTQ rights at every turn — from banning trans troops to stripping Obamacare’s LGBTQ protections — and the 2024 election comes at a time when the nation has witnessed a significant backlash against trans rights in State Legislatures and some local jurisdictions.